We wanted to share some tips and tricks with our districts so that they can take their websites to the next level. Here are some recommendations that we feel are necessary for any district website.
1. Make it Official!
This day and age, communication happens in so many ways... It’s important to share with families that your website (or another forum) is your district’s preferred platform for official updates. Sure, social media, texting apps, and mass communications are helpful, but sharing that official information will be posted on the district website sets expectations and eases anxiety for families that are seeking your guidance.
2. Use Family-Inclusive Language
This piece is so, so important! Children are raised by grandparents, aunts, uncles, foster families, etc. Using inclusive language on your website, such as “Family” rather than “Parents" shows that your district values all home circumstances for students. This small change will make a big difference for students and their families.
3. Make it Fresh!
Give families a reason to check out your website for new information by updating it on a frequent basis. We suggest a new post at least once a week to the homepage. Use those stories to drive more content on other platforms like social media! Staying relevant with your content gives families the cue to keep checking in and makes them feel comfortable that all information is accurate and up to date.
4. WOW Them!
You’ve heard the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words”, right? Well, that saying could not be more accurate in this instance. Readers respond well to graphics. Approximately 65% of the population are visual learners! Use pictures and images to help people increase comprehension and to connect with them emotionally. Families love to see children learning and growing in your schools.
5. Be Mobile-Friendly :)
We have seen an increase in student applications for Enrollment or Choice being submitted using mobile devices, and students who use ScribOrder often order their transcripts from their phone. These facts mean students and their families are definitely viewing district websites on their phones. Make it easy for your students by ensuring the important information that families/students need is accessible on the most popular devices.
6. Have Translations!
Visiting a site that is not written in your native language can be frustrating and ineffective. Help your families easily access your information to stay up-to-date with necessary information by providing translations.
7. Connect with Families
Make sure you are connecting with families. Constant connection and communication ensures they can stay up to date on your news and events, and also share information with others. Offer a way for families to subscribe or be reminded of the news in your district or school. Also, let families know the best way to contact you or your team and set expectations accordingly. If your team prefers email, share on your website that emails will be returned within 24 hours so families know when they should hear back about a question they may have. Remember, communication is always key!